When we look at the key words and images typically associated with the suit of Wands in tarot (also known as Staves, Batons or Clubs) we sometimes miss the inspiring spiritual message inherent in these cards.
Each of the four suits of tarot, known collectively as the Minor Arcana, is associated with one of the Four Elements. Typically, we associate the suit of Wands with Fire, although there is a less popular tradition that associates Wands with Air instead.
When we look at Fire and Air together, we see the thought process that brings us to a place of creative and spiritual inspiration. From that perspective, we can see how both the masculine elements, Air and Fire, inform the suit of Wands.
My preference is to view the Wands as the messengers of the Fire element, bringing us creativity, inspiration, passion and spirituality.
There is a school of thought that suggests that, in tarot, the Major Arcana delivers spiritual messages, while the Minor Arcana only deals with mundane matters.
I find mundane advice and spiritual direction in all seventy-eight cards. In fact, I wonder if the element associated with each Minor Arcana suit might give us information about the way we could approach the suit, or what magick the suit might offer us.
For instance, can we find inspiration in the fiery Wands? Can we find truth in the airy Swords? Can we heal our hearts with the watery Cups? Can we ground ourselves with the earthy Pentacles?
I often find myself pondering a particular suit, and the lessons held within it.
Just as we find a story in the Fool’s Journey through the Major Arcana, so can we see a Fool’s Path in each of the Minor Arcana suits.
This week, I have been thinking about the story of the suit of Wands in regards to entrepreneurialism and creativity.
So many people see, in the Ace of Wands, simply a flash of excitement or a lust for passion. Yet, this creative energy that burns within us must sustain us throughout the arduous journey toward success.
The disappointment in the story of the suit of Wands is that the culmination, the Ten of Wands, does not show success realized. In the Ten, we are carrying the product of our endeavors, and weighed down by it, as we trudge toward the town, presumably to finally sell our wares and ultimately realize our success.
I don’t interpret the Ten of Wands in a negative way, though many readers do. I do see it as a sobering reality check for those of us who follow our passions as career.
Inherent in the Ten of Wands is the artist’s burden and the psychic’s curse; that drive we have to do what we do even at a cost, the fire that burns within us, and the dream of our ultimate success.
Unlike the suits of Cups and Pentacles, it is not until we advance the story through the Court that we realize our true success.
We can see, in each of the Wands cards, part of the journey toward creative and entrepreneurial success. When we tell the story beginning with the Ace and working up to Ten, I see it this way.
Ace: A burning motivation, a creative inspiration.
Two: The planning, dreaming, goal setting and manifesting that goes into a project.
Three: That first moment when you see that your project is having some success.
Four: Building community and structure for your project.
Five: Struggle, perhaps with creative direction or resources management.
Six: Success! Your plans are working out and your project is successful.
Seven: When you are successful, everyone and everything wants a piece of you. You must struggle to stay on top of your game.
Eight: There is a moment when your project becomes its own entity, separate from you. In this energy, anything is possible!
Nine: Success comes at a price. Here, we see the responsibility of continuing the project and meeting expectations.
Ten: We can see our greater success is within reach, but we must stay dedicated to a difficult path in order to reach it.
In this story, we see the energy alternating between success and struggle. So it is in the life of any artist, reader, and entrepreneur.
Often, when I mentor other readers, or read for artists and business owners, these are the cards that appear repeatedly. And, often, the message is the same.
If you are dedicated to your goals, and willing to do what it takes, you can be successful, but it won’t be easy.
The suit of Wands reminds us that many are called, but few are chosen. When we seek success, we know that many share our goals, but many will not succeed.
The suit of Wands gives us a bit of advantage in the knowledge of the struggles along the path. The cards comfort us with the reminder that if it were easy, everyone would do it!